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Rethinking our policies

In today’s blogpost we shall examine the latest comments by the Confederation of British Industry in regards to the government’s handling of immigration which it sees as damaging to UK economic growth.

According to the confederation of British Industry (CBI) the current government needs to drastically rethink its immigration policy if the country’s economy is to grow. The CBI underlined the importance of the government’s need to rethink its current attitude towards both foreign workers and the current Tier 2 system.

The CBI director-general Carloyn Fairbarin underlines the importance of the UK’s access to talent and skills from outside of its borders. She further underlined the need of the UK government to increase the number of skilled workers and to attract more skilled workers into the UK saying, “We need to urgently to develop our own young people and at the same time we must also be open to talent from around the world.”

Immigration is a hot topic as Britain shapes up for a referendum that will decide its future within the EU. The polemic topic has dominated headlines across the UK and public opinion towards both economic migrants and those fleeing persecution is at an all-time low. General fears include the fear that the British workforce will suffer as a result of increased foreign labour and that businesses would be more inclined to employee foreign workers over their British counterparts. Additionally, many fear that migrants will abuse the welfare system of the UK and not contribute through paying taxes. Whilst Fairbaim recognised that the concerns of the public were real she also stated that, “well-funded health and education, road and rail services are far more beneficial to Britain than growing anti-immigration rhetoric.”

On the back of record consecutive rises of net immigration and a general anti-immigration sentiment the CBI feel that the current immigration policies are not fir for purpose and overlook real economic arguments that skilled immigration adds to the UK economy.

The CBI outlined three areas where it needs to facilitate immigration

International students. The UK needs to be more welcoming to what is one of its greatest industries. By attracting the brightest and best of international students it is hoped that this will encourage investment and that the students will then stay on after their education and work in Britain.

Simplify the process to set up business in the UK. By making it easier for international companies to move staff from around the world it is hoped that multinationals will want to bring their

Simplify the process for companies that want to recruit potential employees from outside of the EU. Currently, the tier 2 system has been criticised by various bodies as evidenced by the most recent criticism from the CBI.

Whilst the CBI recognised the need to attract highly skilled workers they also recognised the need to prioritise the home grown labour market. Within their recommendations the CBI believes that the current system needs to modernise, walk the line between preserving the resident labour market and making use of the array of talent that Britain attracts to its shores.

Westkin Associates


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